Tourism Minister heads to first ever world tourism conference in China today

Tuesday, 17 May 2016 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


  • Invited to participate as a panellist in high level sessions
  • Leading Chinese travel agents to engage in discussions with Lankan delegation

In a bid to entice Chinese outbound travellers to Sri Lanka, Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs Minister John Amarathunga takes off to Beijing today (17) to take part in a panel discussion at the inaugural World Conference on Tourism for Development.

The conference jointly organised by The World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) and the Chinese Government will kick off on 18 May and will focus on the theme ‘Sustainable Development through Tourism.’ The conference will be complemented with two high level sessions focusing on, ‘Tourism for Poverty Reduction ‘and ‘Tourism for Peace.’

Noting that it’s an ideal platform to meet influential personnel in the tourism scene in China Amarthunga said: “I have been invited by the Chinese Government to attend the World Tourism Conference and I have also been appointed as a panellist for a discussion under the theme of peace and poverty. I also have been given the opportunity to meet the Head of the Chinese Tourism Ministry and my request to meet five leading travel agents in China has been met positively. I believe this will add considerable value to our industry.”

Accompanying him would be business tycoon and Tourism Advisory Committee Chairman Harry Jayawardena, advisors to the Prime Minister, top officials in the Sri Lanka tourism board as well as local travel agents.

Moderated by CNN anchor and correspondent, Richard Quest, the high level segment will discuss how countries can align their national development strategies with the SDGs and the role of public and private partnerships in the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.